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Mar 16, 2021

In today’s episode, I’m joined by Melissa Orlov, one of the foremost authorities on how ADHD impacts adult relationships. She gives insight on what problematic dynamics to look for in your relationship when one partner is affected by ADHD, how ADHD affects household responsibilities and the relationship connection.

She talks about why the non-ADHD partner takes on more responsibilities in a relationship, how the non-ADHD partner ends up assuming a parenting role in an adult relationship, and her structure for helping people manage their ADHD symptoms. 

Listen in to learn how to create a more supportive environment for both partners, the importance of accepting and working with ADHD symptoms, and approaching a conversation without anger and blame.

(Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear explanations, stories, and examples.)


Melissa Orlov is the founder of, and author of two award-winning books on the impact of ADHD in relationships - The ADHD Effect on Marriage (2010) and The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD (2014). She is considered one of the foremost authorities on the topic of how ADHD impacts adult relationships. 


A marriage consultant, Melissa helps ADHD-affected couples from around the world re-balance their relationships and learn to thrive through her seminars, consulting and books.  She also teaches marriage counselors and other professionals about effective marriage therapy for couples impacted by ADHD. 


In this episode, Melissa Orlov and Dr. Jessica Higgins discuss: 

  • The different relationships dynamics that couples experience when one partner has ADHD
  • How ADHD symptoms can easily be misinterpreted
  • Chronic resentment be fallout with the non-ADHD partner when dynamics are strained
  • Why ADHD symptomatic behaviors get in the way of being an adult partner
  • The grief, hurt, and anger that results from broken promises of ADHD partner
  • Suggestions on how to manage adult ADHD
  • Why both partners need to participate in managing ADHD
  • How shame can be translated into anger for the ADHD adult
  • Examples of actions both partners can do to co-regulate their relationship



The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD* (book) by Melissa Orlov

Connect with Dr. Jessica Higgins







Twitter: @DrJessHiggins 



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